The “A” Word

If you’re a POTS patient whose symptoms are out of control, you’ve probably heard your doctor slip “the ‘A’ word” once or twice. It’s the kind of word that makes your mother cringe and your other doctors shake their head vehemently.





Perhaps you’re wondering: The shit is an ablation?

Cardiac ablation is a procedure that can correct heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias). Ablation typically uses catheters — long, flexible tubes inserted through a vein in your groin and threaded to your heart — to correct structural problems in your heart that cause an arrhythmia.

Cardiac ablation works by scarring or destroying tissue in your heart that triggers an abnormal heart rhythm. In some cases, ablation prevents abnormal electrical signals from traveling through your heart and thus stops the arrhythmia.

Cardiac ablation is sometimes done through open-heart surgery, but it’s often done using catheters, making the procedure less invasive and shortening recovery times.


Now when I was first diagnosed by my electrophysiologist a little over two years ago he went on a rundown of different medications he could try with me and then told me to march myself to Ohio to see Dr. Grubb. Dr. Grubb, if you are not aware, is the POTS doctor extraordinaire. Who also just so happens to have like a 2 year waiting list. I thought I’d have a better chance of getting in at the POTS clinic in Dallas–but, well, we all know how that went. Since then I’ve been working with my doctors here to guinea pig some potential treatments and we’ve covered a lot of ground.

Basically all of the ground.

We’ve even built some skyscrapers.

...and my doctors be like..."What do you mean Ivabradine didn't work?"

“What do you mean Ivabradine didn’t work?”

So today at a follow up with my electrophysiologist (who BTW I haven’t seen in over a year and a half at least…) We discussed the possibility of an ablation–AFTER  these last few efforts:

1. 7-Day Heart Monitor-– to confirm that my heart is as jacked up as often as I feel it is.

2. Maybe a second round of Ivabradine, because why the hell not?

3. See if we can get the Wizard to take a look at my history for confirmation that I am shit out of luck and need my sinus node mutilated.

I don’t know. I’m always surprised when I I think about the possibility of surgical solutions for POTS. In my mind It’s all pills and rowing machines until someone mentions sticking a wire up your groin and burning off part of your heart.


Have you had the “A” word performed on you? Are you dead? Don’t answer that if you are.